Thursday, July 24, 2008

Iowa State Fair Fine Arts Acceptance


I am delighted to announce that I've attained one of my artistic goals. Today I received notice that I will have a painting on display in the Fine Arts Exhibit at the 2008 Iowa State Fair from Aug. 7 - 17.
I recently posted the accepted painting, Pride Before A Fall. The image in that post was a scan that cut off a portion of the painting which is 10" x 10". This image is a quick shot I took with the reframed art sitting on an easel right before I packed it up. Unfortunately, there is a hazy reflection of Yours Truly. I need to get a better image once it's back in my possession.

Initially I framed the art very simply in a thin black 10" x 10" frame, but I wasn't satisfied with the results. I casually remarked to my husband that maybe one day we could attempt frame construction, since we now have some dandy power tools for working on our current house project. He's such a fantastic supporter of my work and he was all for the idea. In fact, he was determined to help me build a frame for "Pride" in time for me to submit it to the State Fair. That was more than I even hoped since I was thinking we'd try something after we get the house done.

Making the frame was simpler than I had imagined. We selected Douglas Fir and had the frame constructed relatively quickly. The tricky part was finishing the frame. Initially I considered distressing the wood, but the grain was so beautiful and interesting that it didn't need the additional texture. After initial tests on scrap wood, I applied layers of burnt umber colored gesso to the frame. Brown paper bag was used to rub down the finish and create a worn paint look.

It was quite late at this point, and I hoped to deliver the painting the next day. My husband offered to spray the acrylic sealer coat for me. He stepped in the house a few minutes later and YIKES!!!!! The warning to not use the sealer in high humidity conditions should have been heeded. Immediately there were areas that looked like someone sprayed a thin coat of white paint on the frame. It was too late to do anything else and I was grateful there was another day before the entry deadline.

The next day I used a palm sander to remove the sealer and much of the brown gesso. I decided to take a different approach to the finish from the day before. I liked the amount of wood that was exposed, but I wanted to warm up its color. I mixed some Golden Nickel Azo Gold with matte medium and spread it on the frame. I blotted off the excess with cheese cloth. The transparent gold gave the wood the warm glow that I was looking for without overpowering the art. (I had used some of the same color as an accent on my painting.)

The next step was to add a fine spatter of burnt umber, iridescent bronze, and a warm brown mix. The effect was quite subtle. Lastly, I sealed the frame by brushing on acrylic sealer inside my air-conditioned home and no worries of clouding.

Once the frame was dry, I finished the framing process. Using my Logan mat cutter, I cut the mats. Hubby helped with the finishing touches like pushing in the glazier points and adding the wire hanger.

It's great to have a painting accepted for the Fine Arts competition at the Iowa State Fair. It will be on display in the Cultural Center on the East side hill of the fairgrounds. The fair is something Hubby & I look forward to attending each year. There is SO much to see, do, hear, eat and smell!

Do you have a summer tradition like we have for going to the fair?

8 comments:

Leah said...

congratulations!!!! the piece looks fabulous. i love the frame you created for it.

Brandie said...

Yeah! Congrats!

Andrea Rooks said...

Congratulations! What an honor for you! And I love that painting...

As for summer traditions, ever since I was a baby, my family has gone to Lake Tahoe to celebrate my and my grandpa's birthdays in August. We didn't make it last year (we were in Iowa instead :) ), and I'm so eager to spend quality time in the woods at our little cabin! I can't wait to see how Natalie likes the woods and the lake, too...

Shayla said...

Congrats on getting accepted! I remember that piece- it's a beauty.

How satisfying to be able to do your own frames. It turned out quite nicely!

Rowena said...

I really like the painting... and that frame is pretty nifty, too.

Catherine said...

Congratulations Regina ! This is great and you really deserve it !

Jennifer Noble said...

After our trip to the fair this weekend - I googled Iowa State Fair & found this post. I am a new fan of your work! Way to use your talents for God's glory. I'm doing the same from a writer's perspective - nice to meet you...Jennifer Noble, Sioux Falls, SD

www.easyreadingpicks.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! We are proud of you and your work and perseverance. This is a wonderful work of art and the frame ios perfect for it. Good job to both of you.
Blessings, Roberta Rooks